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Getting motivated for morning workouts?

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  • Getting motivated for morning workouts?

    I've got a question for those of you that do morning workouts. How do you motivate yourself to get up and do them? I've never been a morning person and I'm usually so sluggish and sore in the morning that there's no way I can do much more than lifting a coffee cup.

    I'm just starting out on Primal and am still trying to phase out all the junk. Mornings seem like the most logical time for me to actually get in a "structured" workout, but I'm having so much trouble trying to do it. I enjoy working out but life usually seems to get in the way later on in the day, and I don't want to force myself to do it early and end up burning myself out.

    Thoughts or suggestions? I'm thinking of doing some Grease the Groove type stuff throughout the day with pullups and pushups. Morning workouts would consist of sandbags and/or kettlebells. I want to save the walking and sprinting for later on in the evenings when my wife gets home from work since she wants to join me.

    So my main question is how to get motivated for morning workouts?

  • #2
    I have never been a morning person either. My morning exercise consists of 10-15 minutes of sledgehammer before going to work, but it's more of a stretching/warmup than an actual workout. I find that I have lots more energy later in the day, so I save the real effort for then.

    My suggestion is to go to bed early, start small in the morning -- maybe as little as 5 minutes at first -- and work up from there. In the end, though, I think some of us just aren't cut out for massive morning exertion.


    • #3
      Yeah I was thinking of something quick, like a few yoga movements and such. Maybe that will get me a little more "in the mood".


      • #4
        Don't know. I get up at 4am and hit the weights 30min later for 60min. Have been training like this since Jan.


        • #5
          I look at it from a habitual perspective..

          Do you shower every morning? Do you brush our teeth every morning? I would hazard to say the answer is yes. And the reason is-- it's become a habit or part of your daily ritual.. Fitness can be as habitual as showering, teeth brushing, meal times, IF your put it into the routine and adhere to it--like you do to brushing your teeth..


          • #6
            Hey marcadav

            I like your answer. Do it till it becomes habit. Makes total sense.

            I'm led to believe that if you do something 3 times or more in succession it is more likely to be remembered or become a habit. So the challenge is to do it 3 days in a row. However we're not supposed to exercise every day so maybe the time in the non-exercise morning can be filled with stretching just to maintain the routine?


            • #7
              Call me crazy but working out around a half hour after waking up is my preference. Makes me feel ( and look ) good the rest of the day.. Plus when you get that second wind it wakes you up better than any energy drink.

              I just recently started a new job going from second shift to first.. now I wake up at 430am to go to work. I pondered about waking up at 330 to sneak in an hour workout but the wife isnt too thrilled with the idea of me going to bed at 7pm in order to do that hehe.


              • #8
                Hi Dan,

                Here's the routine I use on a daily basis to wake up and energize myself first thing in the morning. Morning Wake Up Routine

                Hope it helps!

                Jon Haas
                Warrior Fitness


                • #9
                  I have the same problem, only backwards.

                  I am a morning person, I normally get up around 4 am, but the changes to my schedule (to accomodate taking my daughter to her Kindergarden class) made it impossible for me to go to the gym first thing (it is not opened till the horribly late 5:30 am), so I have to lift after I telecommute at 3:45 -5:30 pm one day of the week and at 12:45 pm to 1:45 pm the other day. It is hard, but for me it boils down to just doing it in those slots of time, because I won't be able to do it any other time. I love lifting so much that I just do not want to miss the lifts.

                  Another thing is that when I use a progressive overload chart (Madcow in my case) I do not want to miss my workouts, because I have to lift on a specific schedules, and for more than a year now I just get used to trying to edge my lift a little bit higher, and higher, and higher, and I don't want to miss out on the possible increase, and do not meet my goal before the next deload.

                  And I sure enjoy Saturdays and Sundays the most, because I can get to the gym at 7 am and do the workouts while I am still bright-eyed and bushy-tailed! And the store now opens at 6 am, so I can do my weekly grocery shopping BEFORE the gym too, so I can get home in time to get my family to get to the Zoo shortly after 9 am, so we skip most of the crowds. Sheesh, I wish more places opened earlier!

                  The day my rec centre will start opening up at 6 am instead of 7 am on the weekends, will be like the happiest day of my life!!!
                  My Journal:
                  When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.


                  • #10
                    I'm also not a morning person, but I have from time to time forced myself to work out in the mornings. In my experience, there are two ways this can be done:

                    1) Wake up 1-2 hours before the planned workout. This way your body will be more ready for exercise.

                    2) Start working out as soon as possible after waking up. This way the first part of your workout you will probably still be half asleep, but hopefully you will be fully awake and alert by the time you are done.

                    Both approaches have worked for me, but in practice I can only do 1) on the weekends (i.e. when I don't have to go do work), so I have to opt for 2) on regular days. It's a pain getting myself to the gym in the mornings, but it's a very good feeling when you can go to work knowing that you are already done with the workout for the day.
                    Norak's Primal Journal:
                    2010-07-23: ~255lbs, ~40.0"
                    2011-11-03: ~230lbs, ~35.5"
                    2011-12-07: ~220lbs, ~34.0"


                    • #11
                      just tell yourself "go hard or go home"


                      • #12
                        Thanks for all the advice. Of course, getting on a regular sleep schedule would probably help out too.


                        • #13
                          I found that if I want to work out in the morning I need to start with simple movements. Examples:

                          - If I am doing martial arts, I'll start with yoga movements and gradually work my sets and exercises into it.
                          - If I am lifting, I just pick up light weights and start doing full body movements (like squat weight to ground, curl on the way up, shoulder press). After a few minutes the blood starts flowing and the "I am not this weak" instinct kicks in.
                          - If I am doing "sprints" or the indoor equivalent, I'll start with static holds and gradually add movement, such as plank into knee-to-shoulders into mountain climbers.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by London Mike View Post
                            Hey marcadav

                            I like your answer. Do it till it becomes habit. Makes total sense.

                            I'm led to believe that if you do something 3 times or more in succession it is more likely to be remembered or become a habit. So the challenge is to do it 3 days in a row. However we're not supposed to exercise every day so maybe the time in the non-exercise morning can be filled with stretching just to maintain the routine?

                            I exercise every day M-F. MWF I walk on the treadmill and LHT. TTh I walk on the treadmill and sprint during one of those walks.

                            The walking allows me to get my 3-5 hours of moving slowly/week. It also helps with my arthritis.


                            • #15
                              On the mornings I only do light exercise, for me it's more about mobility work. I do my workouts later on the day.
                              I might do some pullups, pushups, swings, goblet squats and turkish get ups...this only takes me like 15 minutes. If you are just starting out with exercising this should really be enough. Because it's not my real workout I go really light and not even close to failure...I just go by feel. If you decide to do this you could aim to do:

                              pull-ups 5 reps 2 sets (If you can...if you can't do that, scale them.)
                              Pushups 10 reps 2 sets (If this is way to easy for you...just do more.)
                              Goblet squats 10 reps 2 sets (I use my 24kg kettlebell for this, you can use whatever weight you find fit...even a heavy book if you are new to fitness.)
                              Turkish get ups 2-5 each side alternating sides each time. (I do them with my 16 or 24kg kettlebell, but sometimes without any weight.)
                              Swings 10-20 reps 2 sets (You could do a lot more, but like I said I just do this to "train" my body and for mobility)

                              As I said, if you are new to exercising this should be enough and you can scale it the way you want. It will cover most of your body and it doesn't take much time.

                              To get motivated to do a workout I have a simple rule, If I feel tired and not motivated to workout I always do my warmup...if I still don't want to workout after that I don't have to.

                              If you dont do a warmup, just promise yourself to do the first exercise etc etc.
                              I know a girl who does something that is quite similar, She packs her bag with her gym stuff and goes outside the door and if she still does not want to workout she doesn't have to.

                              The thing is, take action! And that is true to everything in life.

                              Best regards!
                              Last edited by workout4ever; 09-16-2011, 03:04 AM.
                              Visit my website about fitness and health, would love some input .